Recent and Future Updates to the Operational, Satellite-Based Tropical Cyclone Products Produced at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere

Wednesday, 20 April 2016: 3:00 PM
Ponce de Leon B (The Condado Hilton Plaza)
John F. Dostalek, CIRA/Colorado State Univ., Ft. Collins, CO; and G. Chirokova, J. Knaff, S. Longmore, R. T. DeMaria, A. B. Schumacher, and C. Sampson

For over a decade, the Regional and Mesoscale Meteorology Branch (RAMMB) at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) has produced an operational suite of tropical cyclone (TC) products which relies on atmospheric temperature profiles derived from measurements of microwave radiation from the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU). By assuming hydrostatic and nonlinear balance, these temperature profiles can be used to estimate the intensity and structure of the wind field in and around TCs. Position fixes, as well as estimates of mean sea level pressure, intensity, and the 34-, 50-, and 64-kt wind radii are made available to National Hurricane Center and Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecasters via the ATCF F-deck for all TCs globally.

In the past year, two updated versions of this algorithm became operational. The first version uses retrievals from the AMSU instruments aboard NOAA-18, -19, Metop-A and -B. The second version is based on retrievals from the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS) aboard the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (S-NPP) satellite. Instead of using temperature profiles derived from a statistical retrieval algorithm, the products now use the more powerful and flexible Microwave Integrated Retrieval System (MIRS). A summary of the updated products will be given, including examples from the past hurricane season.

In cooperation with the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), CIRA plans additional expansion of the code to accommodate MIRS retrievals obtained from the Special Sensor Microwave Imager/Sounder (SSMIS) which flies aboard the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program satellites F-18 and -19. Preliminary statistics from SSMIS-based wind estimates will be presented together with a discussion of further steps in algorithm development and plans for blending the microwave-based intensity and structure observations with the existing NRL SSMIS Ocean Surface Wind Vector (OSWV) product, effectively filling wind field gaps caused by clouds and rain in the vicinity of TCs.

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